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ISL 2018-19: FC Goa eye comeback as Delhi Dynamos hunt for first win

FC Goa and Delhi have faced each other 10 times out of which FC Goa have won six matches while Delhi have won on three occasions

BS web team & agencies 

FC Goa vs Delhi Dynamos (Photo: indiansuperleague.com)
FC Goa vs Delhi Dynamos (Photo: indiansuperleague.com)

coach Sergio Lobera will demand a response from his side when they take on Dynamos in an Indian Super League clash at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in on Thursday.

This was after the Goan outfit suffered a 1-4 defeat in Jamshedpur which ended their unbeaten start to the season. Sergio Lobera himself admitted that the performance was the "worst" he has seen in his tenure as they came up second best in every department.

As for Delhi, in seven matches this season, they haven't been at their absolute best. Manager Josep Gombau will hope that they are eighth time lucky. After dropping down to the fourth spot in the league table, a win on Thursday will take back to pole position.

It will be interesting to see if Lobera decides to change personnel in key positions especially with Brandon Fernandes getting back to full fitness.

The game against Dynamos will also see Goa's very own Romeo Fernandes return to the Fatorda Stadium. The winger, who enjoyed a purple patch under Zico, joined last season and since then, has had a patchy form.

It remains to be seen if Fernandes would start as although he has travelled with the team, he has only just recovered from a finger injury.


SQUAD: Goa have scored 15 goals in five matches. Six of these have come from the talismanic Ferran Corominas, who currently tops the Hero goal-scoring chart along with NorthEast United FC's Bartholomew Ogbeche. The Spaniard was suspended for Goa's defeat against Jamshedpur and his absence was evident throughout the match. Miguel Fernandez, who replaced Coro against Jamshedpur, had 16 touches in the attacking third but managed zero attempts on goal. Lobera will be glad to welcome his star striker back for the match against Delhi and only a brave man would bet against him finding the net, especially considering his scoring record at home. 12 of Coro's 22 goals in Hero league stage have come at home. Goa's midfield, featuring the likes of Edu Bedia, Jackichand Singh, Hugo Boumous and Ahmed Jahouh, has the creative spark necessary to carve open any defence and can also pitch in with a few goals.

With all their prowess going forward, the Gaurs have looked shaky at the back, especially in the match against Jamshedpur. Lobera's side has conceded a total of nine goals in their five outings this season. However, it's not something entirely new for a side which traditionally relies on outscoring their opponents rather than sitting back to defend.

Delhi have struggled both in attack and defence, scoring just five and letting in twice as many. The side-back positions have been a concern for Delhi this season and may become a major area of vulnerability against the Gaurs, who excel in stretching the play. In fact, seven out of Goa's fifteen goals have come from crosses.

However, Gombau and Co. can take heart from their gritty second-half performance against Jamshedpur in their last match. The Lions were 1-0 down at half-time but came out swinging after the break. With Lallianzuala Chhangte leading the charge, Delhi not only equalised but also managed to take the lead. They were eventually denied a victory courtesy a late Tiri goal, but the performance was definitely something the team can look to build upon.


MANAGERS SPEAK: Goa's Lobera admitted that the 4-1 hammering by Jamshedpur was his team's 'worst defeat'.

"This is possibly the worst defeat of Goa under my coaching. We have to work hard and Improve," the Spaniard said.

The good news for Goa is also the return of star striker Ferran Corominas after after serving his one-match suspension. His presence will certainly bolster their attack given the lethal form he is in with six goals and four assists in 350 minutes.

"It is evident that Corominas is a very important player for us and its good news that he will be back for us. But if you rely so much on one individual then it's unlikely that you will win a lot of things. We need to overcome adversities with or without the players," Lobera said.

Delhi's Coach Josep Gombau said he hoped for 'good football' from two sides that like to play attacking football.

"It's true that Goa are very good at attacking football. If they catch us open, they can play between the lines and punish us. It will be a good game as both the teams like to play good football," Gombau said.


HEAD-TO-HEAD: and Delhi have faced each other 10 times out of which have won six matches while Delhi have won on three occasions.

FORM: After being held to a 2-2 draw by NorthEast United FC in their season opener, FC Goa's men went on to register three back-to-back wins in their next three matches. Their streak was brought to end by Jamshedpur FC against whom they suffered a 1-4 loss.

FC Goa have been prolific in front of the goal, scoring 15 goals from 30 shots on target. They have the passing accuracy of 78.49 per cent but have been able to keep just one clean sheet.

With four draws and three losses in their seven matches so far, Delhi are still looking for their first victory of the campaign. The Lions are in the middle of, what possibly is, their worst start to a Hero season so far and Josep Gombau's men will need to turn things around quickly if they want to keep their chances of making it to the playoffs alive.

scored five goals from 20 shots on target. They have the passing accuracy of 69.2 per cent and have been able to keep the clean sheet just once.


PROBABLE 11s:

FC Goa: Mohammad Nawaz (GK), Chinglensana Singh, Mourtada Fall, Seriton Fernandes, Mandar Rao Dessai (C), Hugo Boumous, Ahmed Jahouh, Lenny Rodrigues, Edu Bedia, Jackichand Singh, Ferran Corominas

Delhi Dynamos FC: Albino Gomes (GK), Rana Gharami, Marti Crespi, Narayan Das, Pritam Kotal (C), Marcos Tebar, Rene Mihelic, Lallianzuala Chhangte, Shubham Sarangi, Nandhakumar Sekar, Andrija Kaludjerovic, Adria Carmona

First Published: Thu, November 08 2018. 13:01 IST